In India, floor space index (FSI) norms are put in place to regulate the height of buildings in cities. The same is true for Mumbai, India’s financial capital, where the FSI ranges between 2.5 and 5, depending on the exact location of the plot and land use. Before we dwell deeper into the subject, it becomes pertinent to understand what FSI or FAR means.
What is FSI?
FSI is the permissible development limit on a plot. Also known as floor area ratio (FAR), FSI is the ratio of the total built-up area to total plot area. For example, if FSI is 2, the floor area of a building constructed on a 1,000 sq ft land should not exceed 2,000 sq ft. A higher FSI means, builders will be able to add more floors on a given plot.
FSI = Total covered area on all floors / Plot area
FSI in Mumbai city
Residential: 3 versus 1.33 earlier
Commercial: 5 versus 1.33 earlier
FSI in Mumbai suburbs
Residential: 2.5 versus 2 earlier
Commercial: 5 versus 2.5 earlier
FSI for slum redevelopment projects
4 versus 3 earlier
In February 2022, the Maharashtra government increased the FSI to 4 from 3, across the state, for slum-rehabilitation projects.
Before some changes were made in the development control norms in the past few years, the maximum FSI permissible in Mumbai was 4.5. However, this limit was increased in the past few years after some relaxations were offered in this regard. According a 2018 UN report, Mumbai was the seventh most-crowded city in the world, with population in urban areas exceeding 2 crore. This means, there is a need to create more living space in this island city where the availability of land is next to impossible.
Also read all about SRA buildings
Mumbai FSI: Definition change in DCPR-2034
The Bombay High Court, on July 27, 2022, asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to explain how it meant to allow additional FSI to be utilised under the Development Control and Promotion Regulation (DCPR)-2034.
The observation of the high court came, in the wake of a public interest litigation, which claimed that increased FSI norms will further congest a highly crowded city. The petitioner claimed that 30-storey buildings were being constructed in place of ground plus two-storey old buildings, according to the FSI norms laid down in the DCPR 2034.
The new definition of FSI in the DCPR-2034 is contrary to what was provided under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act, 1966, and National Building Code of India. The MRTP Act defines FSI as total area on all floors, including the built-up area divided by the area of plot. According to the new definition, the built-up areas are exempted from FSI.
The DCPR-2034 has proposed several approaches to create room in the space-constrained commercial sector, particularly in key city locations, by increasing the permissible FSI. It also talks about offering additional FSI for IT/ITeS, smart fintech and biotechnology centers. It has also linked the permissible FSI with the road width.
FSI in Mumbai: Pre and post-DCPR 2034
FSI in Mumbai: Development potential before and after DCPR 2034
Source: Cushman & Wakefield
FSI in Mumbai for IT/ITeS, smart fintech and biotechnology centers
|Biotechnology||Built by any public entity such as MHADA, SEEPZ, MIDC, SICOM, CIDCO or their joint venture with minimum 11% stake||FSI 3, 4, 5 for road frontage 12, 18, 30 m, respectively.
*On payment of premium of 50% of land price
|IT/ITeS||80% area for IT/ITeS firms, 2% area for startup incubation||FSI 3, 4, 5 for road frontage 12, 18, 27 m, respectively*.
*On payment of premium of 40% of land price
|Smart fintech centers||85% area for smart fintech firms. No amenities space to be left for plots up to 2 hectares; minimum road width to be 18 m||FSI of 3.0 for plot up to 2,00,000 sq m*
FSI of 4.0 for plot over 2,00,000 sq m*
*On payment of 40% premium on land rate
“While the act defines FSI based on aggregate built-up area (BUA) without any qualification, the Administrative Regulations have added words to the statute by exempting huge BUA from FSI computations. In this way, a mammoth quantum of construction has got added by tweaking the law,” the plea said.
What is FSI?
Floor space index (FSI) is the ratio of the area of floor to the area of plot on which a building is standing. In some cities, FSI is known as floor area ratio (FAR).
What is the maximum FAR in Mumbai?
The maximum permissible floor area ratio in Mumbai is 5. It means that the floor area of a building constructed on 1,000 sq ft of land should not exceed 5,000 sq ft.